Oct 012011

It’s absolutely impossible not to get sucked in by the Bangkok nightlife. There’s just too much to do all the time; no matter how strong my resolve is to go to bed early, wake up early, and get work done, something invariably draws me out: a call from a friend or an invite on Facebook or some once-in-a-lifetime event that I just can’t resist. That’s really the main reason why I’ve continued to remain behind on blogging (that and a few other factors, like the US income tax deadline and yet another not-so-brief sickness – which I’ll get to in a minute).

It’s also the reason why life here in Thailand has pretty much leveled out into a repeatable pattern: fun on the weekends, and programming / regular computer correspondence / apartment-hunting during the week. It’s life as usual, just with a nontrivially heavier slant towards “fun.” 🙂

That’s alright though – I’m happy to say that sales from my plugins have actually reached a level that can pretty much sustain me – at least here in Asia – which eases the financial burden of living on the road. It’s really my other commitments (including some self-applied ones like keeping my constant stream of photos organized) that keep me tied to the screen more often than I’d like.

So what’s the long-term plan at this moment? It’s tough to say. Originally I intended on staying in Bangkok until my visa expires, then heading to Cambodia to renew – but a few weeks ago a really interesting opportunity came my way. Rick, the engineer I met in Singapore who manufactures handheld power generators, has taken hold of the perfect opportunity to head to Japan in the wake of the recent tsunami…and as the only Japanese-fluent engineer he knows, he invited me to come along. We’d be there for up to 3 weeks doing a combination of business and relief work: distributing free equipment to disaster-struck areas and making contacts for future channels of distribution. We’re still tossing around whether or not it’ll actually happen; at this point it mainly just depends on funding.

(This is one of the reasons I never moved into an apartment – because I’ve been unsure when I’ll have to leave.)

I’ve also been talking with my dad about coming to visit. At first he was hoping to join me in Thailand then tag along to Cambodia, but the uncertainty about Japan and my soon-to-be-expired visa made flying to Vietnam a more viable option. By doing it that way I could fly out early and have a few weeks to work before his arrival. We’d then travel together in the North, and I’d continue South through Cambodia on my own – ending up back in Thailand for one more 2-month stay.

Anyway, it’s anyone’s game at this point. And before I can start putting any real time into planning there’s a somewhat more pressing issue that needs to be resolved.

I’m sick again. Really sick.

For the past nearly two weeks I’ve had a horrible dry cough – so severe that I often can’t sleep. At first I thought it had to do with a change in weather as it started right after a dramatic temperature shift (insanely hot and humid to dry and chilly in a day). But apparently the shift was just a fluke, and even when the climate returned to scorching the debilitating cough remained. It eventually got so extreme that I had to go to the hospital; I had a few instances of coughing nearly to the point of suffocation. The doctor told me that it’s almost certainly allergies – common this time of year especially among foreigners. A bit of Googling did indeed turn up several forums for expats in Thailand, all describing symptoms identical to my own. Plus two of my friends have been experiencing the exact same thing. He gave me some medicine that didn’t help, I went back a few more times, and we eventually stepped it up to an asthma inhaler. It seems to be doing the trick, and the doctor isn’t worried – he says that at this point it’s just a lingering inflammation that’ll heal in time. At least I’m finally seeing some improvement.

One day at a time, I guess.

Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above was written on Tuesday, March 29th.

  10 Responses to “Life And A Cough”

  1. Glad to hear that your plugins are generating some decent revenue….that must be a good feeling.

    Sorry to hear about the cough

  2. Yeah…the cough seriously lasted like half a year (though it wasn’t much of an issue after the first couple months – it’d tapered off to “just a slight nuisance.” Perhaps the longest-lasting illness I’ve ever experienced!

  3. If it was allergies (which I am not convinced of) do you think it was pollutants that caused the irritation or different natural pollens/allergens?

  4. Well, (skipping ahead a bit) I eventually got it looked at by a pulmonary specialist in the US, and he too confirmed that it’s actually quite common among Westerners in SouthEast Asia – and that it’s actually (initially) caused by a virus. The extreme irritation is more of an aftereffect (“asthmatic bronchitis” or “postviral bronchitis”) which can in some cases last months. He had medical names for all the symptoms I described, including the throat-closing-suffocating feeling, and assured me that it’d just go away in time. Ironically, as I was walking out of the office another woman (on her way back from Southern China) was there for the exact same thing 😛

  5. Geez that is ironic. The only thing worse than a sore throat is a persistent cough. How accurate is the depiction of Bankok (and its cheap medical services) in Hangover 2?

  6. Just depends on where you go 😛 They have everything from private mega-hospitals with English-native doctors and chandeliers to hole-in-the-wall shacks with medicine men reading tea leaves 😛 BKK is generally viewed as having the best medical care in SE Asia, though – foreigners fly in from all over the region for more complicated procedures.

  7. Too bad about the cough. I’d attibute it to the pollution if it were me. It’s not the greenest city on the planet…

  8. That was actually one of my earlier thoughts too, but the doctor did confirm it’s viral – which makes sense because I was pretty sick around the time that it started…

  9. what a bummer- although Im sure you looked really cool as a computer engineer with an inhaler- now were talking sexy. time for glasses.

  10. What are you trying to say, computer engineers aren’t sexy? You’d better watch it, or I might have to slap you with my pocket protector 😉

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